It has been four years since all-rounder Kenneth Kamyuka last appeared in a World Cup cricket qualifier.
Representing Uganda at the time, he posted his best score in the series – 85 off 86 balls batting at number seven – in a five-wicket loss to Canada in the 2011 World Cup qualifier.
The Canadian team included wicketkeeper/batsman Ashish Bagai, all-rounder Rizwan Cheema and medium pacers Henry Osinde and Harvir Baidwan who are now Kamyuka’s teammates.
They are in the 15-member national squad named to participate in the 16-team International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty/20 qualifier in the United Arab Emirates November 15-30. The top six teams advance to the World Cup.
Settling in Canada four years ago, Kamyuka made his Canadian debut in a One-Day International series against The Netherlands at King City last August. Coach Gus Logie is counting on Kamyuka and the rest of the senior players to lead Canada to the World Cup.
“Kenneth has been there before, so he comes with a lot of experience,” said Logie. “He’s a quality all-rounder and I hope that experience will translate into positive contributions that will lift our team. As much as we have some players who have been around for some time, we want them to lead by example and perform well.”
The rest of the squad is Amarbir “Jimmy” Hansra, Hiral Patel, Damodhar Daesrath, Jeremy Gordon, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Usman Limbada, Abzal Dean, Hamza Tariq, Raza-ur- Rehman and Junaid Siddique.
The squad leaves on November 1 for a one-week camp in Sri Lanka that will include eight Twenty/20 matches against Sri Lanka “A” and club teams.
In Dubai, Canada will play warm-up games against Afghanistan on November 12 and Bermuda the following day before meeting the United States on November 15 in the qualifying tournament opener. The national side will take on Ireland the next day, Hong Kong on November 18, Uganda a day later, the United Arab Emirates on the 22nd, Namibia on the 23rd and Italy the following day.
The other group comprises Afghanistan, The Netherlands, Scotland, Kenya, Bermuda, Denmark, Nepal and Papua New Guinea.
The group winners will automatically advance to the World Cup while the second and third place teams in the two groups will play cross-over matches on November 27. The two winners will progress to the World Cup. The fourth and fifth place finishers in each group will also play cross-over games. The winners will then oppose the losers of the second and third cross-over fixtures with the victorious side advancing to the World Cup.
Logie said it’s critical that Canada secure one of the six spots.
“It really doesn’t matter if we finish first or sixth,” he said. “We must qualify for the future of Canadian cricket and in the process leave some sort of legacy for those coming behind. The players we have selected have done well in the domestic leagues and for Canada over the past few years and the expectation is that they will now step up at this critical period in Canadian cricket.”
The Canadian touring party also includes manager Johnny Bujan, athletic therapist Scott Stanger and performance analyst Keith Deonaraine.
The six associate members will join the ICC’s 10 full members at the fifth Twenty/20 World Cup in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 1.